Closet cleaning time

It’s time again to clean out my drafts folder — those subjects I thought of briefly but for one reason or another never developed into full blown posts.

The value of whimsy. A few nights ago when I returned to my garrison after an LFR run, I was greeted by a sight that can only be described as fantastically cute. Four or five of my pets had, by coincidence of some random routing algorithm, banded together and for a while were marching single file through my garrison. The squad leader was my skunk, Stinker. Out of curiosity, I followed them, and eventually their paths diverged, but not before Stinker and one of my fel pups stopped in at my inn. I was half expecting to see NPCs come barreling out of the place with shouts of “SKUNK!!” I have to admit, I giggled like a six-year-old.

This fun little interlude reminded me that Blizz in my opinion has really got “whimsical” down pat for this game. Every time I begin to think that the devs are a bunch of soulless, grim, dark-dwelling hardcore gamers who eschew anything that does not advance a raid tier, the game presents me with something like my skunk-led squad formation. Occasionally they go overboard with a concept (Pepe and the perky pug are examples — just my opinion), but in general I think they have it about right. WoW itself is not a “cute” game, but there is enough just-for-pure-fun whimsy scattered through it to keep me surprised and delighted. And giggling like a kid.

What a difference a few days make in LFR. I usually try to run 2-3 of my characters through LFR HFC on Tuesday reset days, for the valor but sometimes also for the final ring collection on an alt. If I had the time (and patience) to run all of them through, I would, because a couple of days in LFR make a huge difference in the experience, and not in a good way.

On Tuesdays the queues are short even for damage dealers, so I focus on getting them through. Since many of the actual raiders are trying to knock out some valor before their raids for the week, the runs are usually fast and filled with people who know what they are doing. True, you get the occasional self-appointed elitist buttbrain, but honestly that is not a bad tradeoff for a quick and otherwise painless run.

But the situation rapidly deteriorates after Tuesday, at least on my server. Wednesdays are a little worse, and it regresses until by Monday finishing even one wing can turn you into a sputtering, bug-eyed, wild-haired lunatic. My schedule sometimes dictates that I have to run a healer alt through LFR on a Monday, but I never attempt it without a good supply of adult beverages.

I wish I had taken a screen shot of this, but one of my groups on a recent Monday kept wiping on Xhul’horac before Phase 2 because they simply could not grasp the concept of running out of the raid when they got tagged with Fel Surge. The entire room was literally covered in green fire. More than once.

If I were a mathy person, I would insert here a formula, something along the lines of: As time T in days approaches 7, frustration F approaches infinity.

Movement mechanics are important to me. This dawned on me as I was trying out ESO as part of my — so far futile — attempt to have a viable Plan B game if everything goes south in Legion. I know much of it is just habit, but I really do like the way WoW implements the interplay of movement, camera, and action in the game. You have a lot of options for almost every action — mouse-centric, keyboard-centric, combination, whatever suits your style and situation. I have yet to find another game with such freedom.

A couple of years ago I tried to play Diablo, back when Blizz was including the hot new release with one of the WoW expansion packs. My friends were ecstatic over it so I decided to give it a try. I quit after just a couple of weeks, because I simply could not get used to moving by targeting a spot on the ground and then running to it. Drove me absolutely bonkers every time I moved.

Nearly all my possible Plan B games have similar camera or movement annoyances. ESO, as far as I can tell, does not permit mouse running. I never got past the trial for Wildstar because — well tons of reasons actually, not the least of which was it was Wildstar — but also there was some sort of glitch I could not solve where the camera angle could not be adjusted or would self-adjust in a terrible angle. I hate all FPS games, too, cannot deal with that perspective. (Final Fantasy 14 might still be viable, but since their Mac porting imploded it means I have to boot into Windows *ptui* to run it, and I am seldom in the mood to do so, because inevitably it means I will have to endure an hour or more of the infinite number of Microsoft updates, not to mention — well never mind, I just don’t like that OS, never have, never will.)

First “fun” raid with new guild. Recently I joined a new guild, a raiding guild, which is currently in the process of suspending raiding until Legion because they are pretty burned out. I joined mainly because I admire the guild, not necessarily in expectation of raiding, making it clear that if things worked out I would be interested in raiding with them in Legion, but that mainly I was interested in being part of a large active guild.

I signed up for a guild fun run of normal HFC this week, but honestly I am a nervous wreck about it. Let’s face it, the gear on my main (zero tier gear on a MM hunter that pretty much requires 4 pieces just to achieve decent rotation) is much worse than most of these people have on their alts.

Not to mention I have really only done HFC in LFR, not real HFC, so it is almost like starting a new raid tier for me. I would really like to make a good impression, so I am studying like crazy, watching videos multiple times, making notes on each boss for the differences between normal and LFR, making sure I am oversupplied with pots and food and flasks, even running certain wings in LFR multiple times to try out stuff I usually ignore.

Please, Elune, do not let me f**k up.

Still not bored. Interestingly, I was quite bored earlier in this expansion, but now that it is slowly winding down, I find more and more to keep me occupied. I think earlier I was bored mainly because I felt like there were certain activities I had to engage in every day on every alt, and I came to dread it. Now that I have given myself permission to do anything I feel like when I log in, I am back to my usual enjoyment of the game, playing it the way I want to.

I am in absolutely no hurry for Legion to go live, because in spite of myself I know — if I am still playing — that I will put myself back on a treadmill to do certain things as fast as possible.

OK, that’s it, nice tidy drafts folder to start off 2016. 




About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

4 Responses to Closet cleaning time

  1. Grumsta says:

    Lovely to read that you are starting to run HFC normal again 🙂

    As you may remember my long-time guild imploded at the end of last year (not WoD, personal issues between the GMs) and after trying another new guild formed by ex-members I’ve now joined another experienced raiding guild who have cleared Heroic HFC to the point where it’s on farm, but they haven’t quite got enough guildies to do Mythic. Plenty of guilds in that boat because of the 20 player minimum requirement, a joint effort with another guild is being planned, starting tonight. I’m hoping to carry on with Heroic, even though I’m 13/13 now, I want to improve and build my ilevel on my Mage beyond his current 722. If I do play in Legion these guys will be great to raid with.

    Anyway, running HFC with this lot (even when they dig out under-geared alts that they had to blow dust off) is a faster full clear than even the smoothest LFR run. I’m sure you’ll find it the same. The biggest issue they have with newbies is remembering to tell them about important mechanics because frankly they don’t even have to think about them now. It’s a fun run for them but a progression run for you: it’s a weird dynamic but I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself once you relax. Oh and there’s little competition for loot, that’s always nice 😉

    Don’t worry too much about not having the 4 piece tier set on your MM hunter. I’m sitting on 3 pieces on mine (I only use him when we do alt runs now) and I do really decent dps. Yes you get even better with the 4 piece, but there’s nothing shabby about them as long as you equip the best bow you can afford (705 crafted is still BiS for MM at my level of raiding) and get as much crit as possible from Balefuls or the few HFC drops that have decent stats.

    I hope you experience is similar to mine and you get a full clear under your belt (and some nice loot) very soon 🙂

    Your final short paragraph “still not bored” rings true for me too. I’m doing stuff I want to do (especially farming mats for the VotS mount, Valor farming in Mythic or Timewalking dungeons, or even LFR if I just need a bit extra to complete an item). Doing stuff because I want to rather than I feel I have to is such a QoL improvement and I feel much more relaxed in the game now. I’ve even picked up the Garrison jukebox so I can grab some extra achievements, I never thought I’d bother with that!

    WoD 6.0 and 6.1 were miserable for me, I hated them so much after loving MoP so much, and I came very close to quitting. But to be fair since 6.2 arrived there’s been much more to do. The QoL improvements came with 6.2.2 when flying finally arrived, and 6.2.3 with Valor has provided content I want to do (even though it’s not new, at least I have a reason to do it). The bad stuff in WoD is so dreadful that it’ll taint this xpac forever, but there’s no denying I am enjoying the current game (and the gold income) while it lasts.

    • Fiannor says:

      “Doing stuff because I want to rather than I feel I have to is such a QoL improvement and I feel much more relaxed in the game now.”

      Exactly. The irritating thing for me is, I know this in my head, but when a new expansion launches I just can’t seem to help myself. I get into the same old “Gotta do this, then gotta do that” mode, and the game becomes a second job for me rather than a way to relax. I am my own worst enemy!

  2. I love your interesting postings. What is ESO?
    I’d say for MM, my biggest challenge is lining up cooldowns on the boss fights. Using Rapid Fire with every time with the Legendary Ring can be rough since you are dependent on someone else triggering it. I put my ring on my action bar so I can see when they trigger it.
    Bonus Tip: Barrage lines up perfectly with the imps spawning on Xhul and Manny; use it on them when they first arrive and it will be ready throughout the fight when they spawn again.
    Happy Hunting!

    • Fiannor says:

      Elder Scrolls Online.

      Since I am rarely the ring popper, I have pretty much given up on trying to line up cooldowns with it. I can pull it off at the beginning of a fight, obviously, and once in a while in a fight like Gorefiend for Feast of Souls, but that is about it. I haven’t done the math, but I suspect that what you gain by saving RF for the ring buff versus what you lose by not using it whenever it is off cooldown makes trying to sync it not really worth the effort. Like you, I want to know when the ring is being used, so I have a weak aura for it with timers and a big air horn sound that goes off when it is popped.

      You really are right about the barrage usage for the imps — I had a lot of fun using it to good effect on those two bosses last night!

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